Werder Bremen suffered another blow in their fight against relegation as a late Wout Weghorst header condemned them to a slender 1-0 defeat against Wolfsburg at home on Sunday.
It was a competitive game in what turned into sodden conditions as the hosts aimed to kick off their escape from relegation, whilst Wolfsburg once again set their sights on Europe. That was probably indicative of a low key first-half but the visitors stole the three points in the 82nd minute as a great header from Weghorst, without a goal in four Bundesliga games, stole victory.
Chances at a premium
The match was starved of chances early on, with each side only having one real opening within the first 25 minutes. Weghorst was played through for the visitors but he was denied by Werder keeper Jiří Pavlenka. Meanwhile, Maximilian Arnold somehow managed to produce a heroic block to deny Joshua Sargent.
Admir Mehmedi also had an effort deflected away as he managed to get on the end of Victor Sa’s low centre into the box.
Attacks silenced in Bremen
Despite their perilous position in the league standings, it was probably the hosts who played the better football throughout the first-half. A great, counter-attacking move saw Yuya Osako presented with space on the edge of the penalty area but his powerful shot was pawed away by Koen Casteels.
There was also a severe lack of openings in the second-half, with one of the better chances not coming until half-way through the period as Ludwig Augustinsson whipped a free kick marginally over the crossbar.
Rain arrives but the opener does not
As the game wore on, the main talking point slowly became the weather as the rain began to tumble down and thunder began to rumble, making the conditions extremely tricky for both teams.
Incidentally, Wolfsburg tried to test out the Werder keeper with a few long range strikes. Daniel Ginczek and Milot Rashica both had efforts blocked before Xaver Schlager thundered an effort off of the crossbar from at least 30 yards.
Weghorst stelas late victory
The opening strike did eventually come though and it was indeed in favour of the European-bound visitors. Kevin Mbabu did excellently to steal the ball on the edge of his own area before advancing up the pitch and playing the ball to substitute Felix Klaus on the right. He then produced an excellent cross towards Weghorst, who had managed to get in front of his marker to produce a great downward header that nestled into the back of the net.
Brekalo then almost sealed the three points with yet another late goal but his first-time effort was well-saved by Pavlenka.
Werder poured forwards late on but as has been the pattern throughout the majority of the campaign, they were not quite able to find the equaliser as they remain six points adrift of 15th-placed Mainz.
The standings really do not make for pretty reading for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. Following their 16th defeat of the season, they now look extremely likely to be playing in the 2. Bundesliga next season. As has been the pattern for the majority of the campaign, they played some nice football but did not have that required quality or cutting edge to find the net, whilst Wolfsburg struck where it counted the most.
Werder Bremen: Pavlenka (7); Augustinsson (6), Moisander (6), Veljkovic (6), Gebre Sealassie (6); Klaassen (6) (Woltemade (N/A), 85′), Vogt (5), Bargfrede (6) (Bartels (6), 61′); Eggestein (6); Osako (6) (Selke (N/A), 86′), Sargent (6) (Bittencourt (N/A), 76′).
Wolfsburg: Casteels (7), Roussillon (7) (Tisserand (N/A), 89′), Brooks (7), Pongracic (6), Mbabu (7); Victor Sa (7) (Klaus (7), 64′), Arnold (7) (Guilavogui (N/A), 88′), Schlager (7) (Gelhardt (N/A), 84′), Mehmedi (6) (Ginczek (6), 64′); Brekalo (6), Weghorst (7).
Goals: Weghorst (82′)
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus
Yellow Cards: Schlager (53′), Pongracic (58′), Mbabu (67′), Bittencourt (80′)
Red Cards: N/A
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